Common red flags for home buyers

Besides physical defects, don't overlook financing and agent professionalism

Last year, before the subprime crisis hit, a home buyer was on the verge of purchasing his first home. His mortgage broker told him that qualifying for a mortgage would not be a problem.

After reviewing the numbers of an attractive teaser-rate adjustable, the buyer had second thoughts. He called a knowledgeable friend and asked her to review the loan documents with him. After fully understanding how much the loan would ultimately cost, he decided not to go through with the sale.